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Thread: Let's talk about rangefinders and slim/compact cameras...

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    Question Let's talk about rangefinders and slim/compact cameras...

    Hey All,

    I am undergoing something of a realisation that it's probably a good thing for me to switch up my camera gear a bit. I'm getting rid of my current DSLR gear because I only ever got it out a few times a year, mostly for motorsport stuff and I've had fun with that but I'm finding that I prefer to actually watch the events rather than constantly having a viewfinder to my eye.

    So a complete about-face is in order.

    I want to take more photos, more often - so my main goal is to downsize and have something that I can easily carry with me most of the time. Like some fella said, the best camera is the one that's with you. These new compact cameras like the Fuji X100 are very appealing, but I haven't seen any reviews of it yet... Actually the X100 is almost the only one I would consider because I want a viewfinder.

    The other thing I have been considering is a rangefinder. The things that really draw me to it are the facts that you have a constant image in the viewfinder, it doesn't black out at the moment of the photo, the large and bright viewfinder, plus the additional out of frame view (quiet operation is also a nice thing). Quality is expensive so I'm thinking if I went that way I would have to save some pennies and keep an eye out for a used M8. Or the other option is to buy something like an M3 and start shooting alot of B&W and process it myself or just find a place that can do bulk processing/scanning for a good price?

    I also read something here about one of those 4/3, compact type cameras that can use the Leica M mount lenses? Then someone else bought out the good point that image quality is in the lens, the body just captures it and they will always change.

    I'm interested in your thoughts. I'm quite happy to spend money on quality and I'd view it as a lifelong purchase. Or there's the other option to avoid the up-front cost and go with a film camera and pay as I go along for processing etc.

    The other thing I should add is that I'm perfectly happy for complete manual controls, and easily accessible controls are high on the want list. Presets will mostly be ignored and cameras with settings buried in menus will be removed from consideration.

    Cheers
    Last edited by mugget; 26-04-2011 at 2:00pm. Reason: Added more info

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    hey there's a forum for range finders... do a search on google...
    I know there are some pretty good russian rangefinders out there...
    But if you've decided on a Leica...
    Also there's the voigtlander range finders...

    Nikon D700 in all it's glory!

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    That may be rangefinderforum.com, eh?
    When you say Russian and Voigtlander rangefinders do you mean just for the film option? I thought Leica were the only digital RF?

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    Damn that Rangefinder Forum must have one hell of a lot of signups... I'm still in the moderation queue, still waiting to be able to post...

    Anyway I've been looking at the Fuji X100. Looked like it would fit the bill perfectly - except a couple of things. From reviews etc. I still can't work out if the viewfinder blacks out when photos are taken? I read that the EVF freezes sometimes, but if the OVF blacks out when the shutter is released that is exactly what I'm trying to get away from. Just wondering if anyone knows about that for sure?

    Initially I was looking towards Leica because that's all I knew, but looking into it there looks to be some other good options if you're willing to shoot film. Speaking of which, how much do you pay to have film developed & scanned? From memory the last time I paid something like $20-30 I think, but one of those also included prints. What do you film buffs do? Send it off somewhere or just take it to your local?

    Anyway some good film options seem like the Leica M3 (some would say arguably the finest camera ever made?) or the Contax G2 which can be had with the 28/45/90 kit for around $1,300! But with the Contax you're not going to be using the M mount lenses that everyone wants... or is that kind of a non-issue? Like how people now argue about which latest SLR is better because it's got an extra megapixel over another?

    I'm gonna keep looking into this, seems there can be some good deals had like the Voigtlander 35mm f1.4 Nokton which would be perfectly suitable for a hobbyist.

    One thing I'm still undecided on is the film vs. digital. Unsure if it's better to save up for digital or spend as I go with film developing. Maybe I'll do my math on the weekend...

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